As Ryne said in the last post, we are now in California (Monterey Bay area right now), but we experienced a lot on our journey here. After we left Scottsdale, AZ, we headed north to Sedona to see gorgeous red rock, and then toured the grandest canyon of them all.
The Canyon of Grandeur:
We hiked 12 miles round trip (via the Bright Angel Trail) into the inner canyon. This was amazing and gave some sense of size which is pretty much inscrutable when your on the rim.
We hiked on snow for the first 3 miles and then got down to a massive canyon within a ginormous canyon and the murky Colorado river.
We were fortunate enough to see a wild hatched California Condor! There are only about 230 birds in the wild.
Clarks Grebe, Lake Havasu
Next, we headed to the Mojave Desert at Joshua Tree NP.
Torrey Pines State Park near San Diego, CA
While at the Trogan’s Condo in Camarillo we did a lot of sea watching, whale watching and got to spend some time with Michelle, Andrew and their kids Weston and Gabriel. We went to the Arboretum in LA and then Michelle made us yummy potato-leek soup and flat bread pizza. It was so fun to meet their kids! And they were so enthusiastic about looking at birds through Ryne’s spotting scope and Weston loved to use what he called ‘noculars’
We took a lovely trip to the Channel Islands and got to see a lot of the endemic flora and fauna including Santa Cruz Scrub Jay and Island Fox.
Grey Whales migrating south
Mountain Plovers on the Carrizo Plains
The Big Trees at Seqoiua and Kings Canyon NP. My new favorite place on Earth!
And the famous Yosemite Valley in winter!
And finally to bring you up to date, the Monterey Bay Area: we went whale watching, but only saw Long Beaked common Dolphins. The water was so choppy that Ryne and I both got sea sick for the first time.
I had to share this awesome lunch we had at Roys near Pebble Beach. I had a giant portabella sandwich! So delic!